If you dread the chore of preparing a healthy lunch (or lunchbox, during term time!) for the kids – not to mention convincing them to eat it- try these tips from Karina Savage, a leading Paediatric Dietitian at The Mosman Practice 393.
I sit here on a rainy day at a local indoor play café, looking at all the junk food teasing our kids – it’s ridiculous really when we know how badly it impacts on their health…but everyone is doing it, so the “crowd herd” effect makes it somehow OK. The kids of course don’t mind – its yummy and having it all there on display only makes it harder for us as parents to say no!
Nourishing their bodies doesn’t always go to plan, but that’s life. I think we are all on the same page. In a way I feel we have to “de-train” them from all the treat food that they have become accustomed to eating over the past few festive months.
Here are my three tips for getting them back on track ready for the year.
1. Limit the juice and fruit drinks:
- Even limit the 100% fruit ones – special occasions only (unless they are sick and needing big hit of Vitamin C!)
- These drinks lack fibre and just add to their daily sugar intake – which is already too high.
- Leave the fruit boxes on the supermarket shelf and give them fresh fruit instead.
2. Stop buying snacks in mini packages:
- Challenge yourself to reduce it by half, or better still stop it altogether.
- This includes mini bags of crisps, puffed rice shapes, rice crackers, tiny teddies and any of those other processed refined carbs they package up. The environment will thank you too!
- By doing this you will automatically push yourself towards providing a healthier snack options for them (think fresh fruit, homemade fruit muffins, dried fava beans, chick peas, popcorn in containers, date balls, chopped salad veg with hommus, cheese cubes, nuts and dried fruit, nut butter sandwich, homemade banana bread, muesli slice).
3. Be confident to start saying “no more!”
- Pester power is incredibly persuasive, but we have to stay strong – for their health
- Explain why – in child language
- Stick to your guns and give them two better options to choose from. If you cave, then they will know they can always push you to breaking point!